10 Comments

Summary:

If you’re in web development, the odds are pretty good that you’ve worked with a content management system at some point. Letting the people who own a site edit the actual content (as opposed to the HTML markup and code) is a win all around: less […]

If you’re in web development, the odds are pretty good that you’ve worked with a content management system at some point. Letting the people who own a site edit the actual content (as opposed to the HTML markup and code) is a win all around: less need for the web developer to do routine work, more control for the clients. But most CMS’s are complex, tough to install, and inflexible. A new entrant in the market – CushyCMS – aims to change this.

Rather than specify exactly what the user can be edited as part of some massive system, CushyCMS lets the developer cherry-pick content from a page to be edited. As a page designer, you apply special CSS classes to the portion of the page that should be changed by your client; CushyCMS does the rest. The net effect is to make available an unlimited number of per-page custom editors. It works with single lines of text, whole divs, and even images.ScreenshotThe workflow is pretty straightforwaard. After signing up with CushyCMS, you give it FTP information to connect to your server. It retrieves a list of pages and you pick the ones that you want to make editable. Then you can invite other people to visit your CushyCMS page with “editor” privileges: they can edit the pages that you’ve made available, but not adjust server properties or put new pages on the list.

For editors, it’s a matter of signing in, picking the page, and waiting for CushyCMS to generate the editing form. Then when you save, it automatically uploads the entire page (with the user’s edits inserted at the appropriate spots) and uploads it back to the server via FTP.

The service is currently in beta, and slightly rocky – I hit some servers where, for whatever reason, it was unable to retrieve the list of available pages. But overall, this is a nice idea for an editing service, and I’ve got clients that it will be useful with. It’s 100% free at the moment; in the future, they may introduce a paid version to allow you to put your own branding on the editing pages. They’re making 150 spots in their beta available today; sign up with the code BETA to get your shot at one. Launch is planned for April 15.

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  1. Thanks for the beta code, I got in. Looks decent for static webpages, but not so easy for php pages.

    Then again, if I’m running php pages, I wouldn’t necessarily need this service, would I? ;-)

  2. Interesting service, I like the execution.

    Great for designers and non-technically inclined people. I might have to borrow this idea ;)

  3. It’s vevry nice, clean and easy. The only addition I wish for though is to edit a website menu and add pages bases upon a template html on your server.
    Pretty straight forward editing the list items of the menu, copy the template.html and then the editor can edit the site. Would love to have that in there and then I’d certainly use it!

  4. I second what good-fellow said.

    However, I’m also curious if there is an actual CMS out there that allows this. Everything I’ve seen has been too complicated and I would wind up writing templates for that CMS instead of concentrating on design…

    I would love a CMS I could host, and theme to look the way I want to duplicate Cusy’s features…

    Does anyone know anything like this?

  5. For small static brochure sites this is awesome, I just wish that I could buy the code and run in on my firm’s server. I would rather not give away FTP access info, and I would rather have the service blind and on my domain.

    It’s something the creators should really think about.

    1. I would also love a standalone solution but if they ever offered that they would have to make the license price pretty high. They make more with monthly fees.

  6. For those that want a CushyCMS clone – Its easy to do, took me two and a half days to write the Cushy functions as a PHP class.

    People interested in the code should email me – I may share on a good day!

    1. Ben – I’d be very interested to see how you did this? I’m struggling to write a system that allow multiple sites.

      Ideally, I’d like to keep the CMS (and importantly all the files) on our domain and give clients (okay a few family friends :P ) acess to that with a user/pass but then it ftp’s off to whatever server their site is on.

      Cheers

    2. I’d love to have this if you could spare it!!! Thanks

  7. If you do want some of the code for the Cushy clone email me on ben AT dinosaur-park DOT com. I am willing to send out the prototype class which allows for basic connection and editing – you will have to build up the system into a full application yourselves :)

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